Pay the Piper? Edition

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July 1, 2016


Pay the Piper? Edition


Pay the Piper? Edition

This week Volkswagen agreed to pay almost $15 billion to settle the emissions claims in its diesel models:

I think this is in some way a measure of justice. The customers who bought the cheating vehicles should have their cars bought back and be compensated for their trouble. That is just.

What I don’t think is just is the government profiting from this. The government was not harmed. So why should the government get money? Isn’t that—oh what’s the word?

According to the article, $2.7 billion is going to the federal government and California (no small surprise about California) regulators “to fund pollution-reduction projects” and another $2 billion is going to be given for investment in “clean technology.” What does any of that even mean?

Volkswagen is a defendant in a host of other pending suits from varying states as well, and I am sure those states will have their hands out too. I suppose it could be argued that the states and the federal government are suing on behalf of the people. And that might actually be a plausible argument IF VW HADN’T QUICKLY AGREED TO RECOMPENSE ITS CUSTOMERS.

Since VW is already buying back the cars and paying its customers, doesn’t that make paying the federal and state governments just a money grab?  Of course, if Volkswagen even breathes that sentiment a torrent of backlash and penalties would be incurred. 

Extortion. That’s the word, right? Extortion?

Aside from the customers’ money; all this extra money changing hands makes me wonder qui bono?

And what about all those cars that are going to <poof> disappear from this world? Now the industry is going to be short almost half a million cars. Production will fill that gap I am sure. But will they fill it with diesel engines or—wait for it—gasoline?

It is also worth noting that Volkswagen’s first three-row SUV will be made in Tennessee starting this December and might arrive just in time for the buyback program. Lucky.

But what do you think?

Post your comments: @laurenfix.




My Final Thought:

If you love speed and land speed records and have $195,000, this 1952 Buick Super Riviera is up for auction:

Racer Jeff Brock named her “Bombshell Bettie,” bored out a Buick straight-8 and added some other mods to create this unique speed demon. And it is pretty fast; in 2013 “Bombshell Bettie” was clocked at 165.735 mph.

Check out the link to the video of Bettie in action.

Post your comments @laurenfix.

Love Your Car! See you next week!

–Lauren Fix

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